IoD – Business leaders cautiously welcome Great Repeal Bill as sensible starting point

Responding to the White Paper on legislating for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, published today, Allie Renison, Head of EU and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The absolute priority for businesses when it comes to transferring EU law into UK law is continuity. We have to avoid a legal vacuum where no one knows what rules and regulations they should be following. Confirming that nothing will change on the day that we leave the EU helps to give companies certainty. After we have left and the new relationship becomes clear, we will of course want Ministers to look at whether it makes sense for us to keep EU-inspired laws.

“This will be a very big task, as so much law on the statute books has its origins in, and indeed references, EU law and the Treaties. This really is a question of slow and steady wins the race – transfer the law first, then work out which bits we want to keep.

“The Great Repeal Bill is a good platform to build on, and shows the Government is asking the right questions about the fiddly process of making Brexit happen. It correctly identifies that EU law will continue to be important for the UK even as we move to take control over how we interact with it. This White Paper doesn’t give us all the answers, of course, and business still wants to know how the transition process after Brexit will work, but it’s a sensible start.

“We are still concerned about the potential for disruption if there is a period between withdrawal and a new framework coming into effect, so some pragmatism is needed with respect to sorting out the legal relationship between the UK and EU in any such bridging period.”